Prosecutor embrace the digital revolution

Big data is being used to handle court cases more efficiently, according to the local procuratorate

Local prosecutors have embraced the digital revolution by using the latest technology from big data to artificial intelligence to deal with cases more accurately and efficiently.

Last month, Shanghai People’s Procuratorate launched a big data center. Professional data analysts will be recruited to study database and build models, by which prosecutors can save time, according to a meeting on Thursday by the procuratorate.

It has also cooperated with Shanghai High People’s Court to build a “smart” system, backed by artificial intelligence, which assists judges in handling cases. It can compare evidence, find loopholes and confirm their authenticity.

“Today, many criminals are using high technology to commit crimes. It requires our judicial departments to keep up with the tide,” said Ruan Zhujun, director of the procuratorate's political department.

It is part of the city’s ongoing judicial reform, he said, adding that another highlight is “flexible” personnel arrangements.

Under the rule, prosecutors occupy no more than 33 percent of the total staff members of a procuratorate. Currently, the average percentage of Shanghai is 29.1 percent. But some district procuratorates, which lack prosecutors but deal with an increasing number of cases, are allowed to break the limit.

“Previously, downtown procuratorates are busier than their suburban counterparts. So, we arrange more prosecutors for them. But now, the situation is totally the opposite,” Ruan said. “Many people are moving to the countryside for reasons including urban renewal. We have to make adjustment.”

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